Tilly’s voice boomed through the living room, as she made her way to the kitchen. Slipper-ed feet swishing on carpet, all the way down the hall. It had been such a quiet morning. Pearl and Gloss were contently enjoying their breakfast, of cereal with sliced strawberries, it had been so peaceful, so quiet. Pearl was always the quiet one, you would hardly have known she was there, if hadn’t been for the little sound her shoes made while rhythmically tapping against the stool. Such a well natured child too. What I would have given to have just one like her. Not that I didn’t love my children, it’s just well, they were very different from their cousin. And it made life difficult… for us.
“MAWM he did it again!” Tilly groaned, stamping her foot in protest.
I was right in the middle of wiping down the counters, and was not ready for the same song and dance just yet, so I continued to clean up the grime. “Just a second dear. Let me finish this up first.”
Tilly folder her arms over her chest, she had no problem waiting, I obviously needed to hear what she had to say, so she was willing to stick it out for as long as it took. She watched intently her foot tapping on the floor, which I found hilarious, because her slippers made no noise, so it was just a cats head bobbing up and down on the linoleum.
Those slippers… I came to hate them with a fiery passion. Not because she wore them with everything. No that was fine, I didn’t care if she wanted to wear them to school, to the movies, to pretty much everywhere that required shoes. The problem was, since she wore them all the time, they were constantly filthy. I was tossing them in the wash at least twice a week. Who ever’s bright idea it was to buy a nine year old white slippers was a dead man. I couldn’t even recall where she got them…
Finally I couldn’t stall any longer, I spun around to find my dearest daughter, looking incredibly crestfallen. Her beautiful lavender eyes, drooping at their corners. “What did he do now?” I inquired, a bit more sympathetically this time.
“He wouldn’t give me my turn on the swing! I asked and asked and he still wouldn’t let me get on.” Tilly whined. “It’s not fair! I saw it first, and he won’t let me swing.”
“Alright, I’ll go talk to him.” I assured her, heading for his room.
“That’s not all he did.” She groaned, pulling on my sleeve.
I stopped. “Okay… what else did he do?”
Her voice was completely broken up by this point. “Well since I couldn’t get a ride on the swing, me and my friend were going to make a small little garden with some of the flowers. And he trampled them! He jumped right up and down on them! Why would he do that momma?!
“I don’t know dear. I don’t know…” I squeezed her shoulders gently, guiding her to the empty stool between Gloss and the oh so mellow Pearl. “Just take a seat. I’ll make you some breakfast. We will get to the bottom of this. Alright?”
* sniff* “Okay momma.” *sniff sniff*
This was going to take some finesse. It’s hard enough to punish a child under normal circumstances, this though, this was nothing I had signed up for. I rolled my eyes, as I headed through the front room to find Tosca.
“I think you and I need to have a talk.”
“It’s not my fault!” Funny, somehow he knew what I was wanting to talk about even though it was not his fault. My left eyelid pulsated a few times. Pulling a Tilly, I tapped my foot on the carpet. “I thought we talked about this. You have to stop going into your sisters dreams.”
“But mom I don’t go there on purpose, it just sort of happens! I can’t help it!
“Okay fine. If you are going to be there, you have to stop tormenting her. Let her ride the swing once in a while.”
“But mawwwwwm I saw it first.”
“I don’t care who saw it first, you need to share.”
“But it’s my swing! She is the one coming into my dreams anyhow!”
I pinched the bridge of my nose, taking a calming breath. “Again, it does not concern me, who is going into who’s dream, what concerns me, is your sister waking up from a nights sleep in tears, because her brother is trampling all over her flowers.” It sounded more than stupid coming out of my mouth, but a mothers gotta do what a mothers gotta do. Tosca was still flying his rocket ship all around the room, refusing to agree to any sort of dream treaty.
“Thank you. Now you’re going stay in here for the afternoon, and give me that.” I lifted the rocket out of his hands, he allowed me to take it, but he was not happy. Not happy at all.
I’ll admit when I first learned about dreamwalkers and what they could do, I was skeptical. Right, like that would be remotely possible. Gramma explained to me, that it was indeed possible and that she, herself was one. I remember the conversation quite clearly. It basically consisted of me lifting my eyebrow in disbelief to no one, since grandma wasn’t too keen on facial expressions, probably the only thing she wasn’t keen on. Alright so my kids were dream-walkers. That was weird enough, then they started jumping into the others dream and it all turned into a giant mess. How do you police somewhere you can’t even go. I asked Gramma if she could go, but she explained it just doesn’t work that way. Wonderful…
You know that old saying, don’t know what you got till it’s gone? My children are prime example of this old adage. I thought they had been a handful before. Tosca had always been the adventurer, and I was completely convinced the odds of having another just like him were slim. Not slim enough I’m afraid. It was like deja vu with Tilly. Slipping out of her bed, sneaking outside, trying to get away to the open wide world. A new set of worries, a new set of nightmares. Only this time it was worse, because she had an older partner in crime. They escapades quickly escalated as Tosca got older. The scariest was when they slipped out of the house undetected, only to be discovered in the park at the middle of town.
How they managed things so quickly I will never know. I had only gone in for a quick shower. I had no other choice, Tilly had spilled her lunch all down my front, where it quickly seeped into my clothes getting me all sticky and wet. I begged them to stay put. I put on the TV, promised I would be back, two minutes. Two minutes too long… I came back to an empty living room. I ran to the front of the house hoping to find them. Not a soul could be seen all the way down the hill. Frantic I ran back inside and called Tap at work. He came home immediately and we started our search. It was about sundown when we made our rounds. Spying the duo in the park, we charged after them. I was relieved, but that only allowed the anger to set in.
“Young man, what do you think you are doing?”
“We wanted to come play.” He explained, completely unaware of the danger he put them both in.
“You can’t just take off like that. We had no idea where you were. What if something happened to you?”
“It wasn’t that far.”
“Wasn’t that far?! Tosca you’re miles away from the house with your baby sister. Outside our yard is too far. Got it?”
“Good now march yourself over to the car. We’re going home.”
Tosca did as instructed, hopping into the car and buckling his seat belt. After I had fastened Tilly into her car seat, I slid into the passenger side, giving a nod to Tap, signalling the all clear. We pulled away from the walk and started the drive for home. “By the way.” I added. You’re grounded.”
Adventure was in their blood, that much was clear, so we had to figure out a way to keep them satisfied at home. We tried several different things, but it was my final idea that seemed to work the best. Of course this involved a lot of work on my end, but to keep them safe, and in the house, it was totally worth it.
“Good afternoon Miss. Welcome to Pearl airlines. Will you booking a flight to Shang Stir Fry or Chambury today?” Pearl greeted me, giving me a small bow.
“Hmmm I do beleive I will be visiting both, if that is possible.”
“Ah so you wish to book our package deal. Wonderful, just give me a moment to book your tickets. Alright, everything seems to be in order on this end. Let me show you to your seat.” She smiled taking hold of my hand, walking me all of two feet. “Here you are. Please take your seat, we will be leaving shortly.”
I took my seat and prepared for our long flight. I was given a strange look from across the way. “Oh right!” I quickly belted in my imaginary seat belt. Then we were finally ready for take off.
“Uuuuuuuuh this is your captain speaking. We have uuuuuuuuuuh flight time of about 7 and 1/2 hours today. Conditions are clear, we should have no trouble, so please sit back and enjoy your ride with Pearl airlines.” With that she put away her imaginary CB radio and we were off. I always got a chuckle from her dedication. It took all I had to play along and not laugh uncontrollably at the sheer adorableness of it all. Soon we were landing in Chambury, quickest flight ever. I unbuckled my belt and headed for the terminal, i.e. Tosca’s room.
“Bonjour Mademoiselle.” Tosca greeted, putting on his best french accent. It wasn’t that great, but again, the adorable made up for what it was lacking.
“Bonjour.” I smiled back.
The next twenty minutes or so, I was shown all around town. My tour guide was sure to point out all the different places of interest. He had even constructed a small Eiffel tower, out of old toilet paper rolls. It was a undoubtedly the nicest french vacation one could ask for. Before long though, I was being haled back to the plane. It was time for my connecting to flight to Shang Stir Fry. I received a pleasant send off from the locals before we were in the sky again.
“nǐ hǎo Mother.”
“nǐ hǎo Daughter.”
The transformation wasn’t quite as extensive in Tilly’s room, but she had a nice little outfit to make up for it. I was greeted warmly before we sat down to share a little tea. We discussed some of the finer things that went on in her great city, before she opened the floor for questions. I sadly had none, so she proceeded to make a few up on the spot for me. My trip was coming to a close, but when I stood to take my leave, I was pulled aside by a local. “It is tradition in my country for the mother to play dolls with her daughter.” She grinned, nodding her head.
“Well, I wouldn’t want to step all over your traditions.”
We spent the next hour or so, doing just that. She and I had played house many times, but never in Shang Stir Fry, so this was a new experience. Amazingly my little planned worked like a charm. The French/Chinese connection saw us through their childhood years. Everyone was content. and eventually they got to a point, where they invited the other over for a visit now and again.
Eventually they stopped the dream harassingt and their friendship solidified into something I never could have imagined. They were glued at the hip. Where one went the other would follow. They really were like kindred spirits, more like twins than siblings. Adventure in their sails, I had a feeling one day they would finally see that big adventure, the one they had been planning for since diapers. My little dream team, in more ways than one.